Oct. 29, 2011
GUADALAJARA, Mexico - Former UCLA standout water polo players Adam Wright and Chay Lapin guided the USA Water Polo Men's National Team to the gold medal at the Pan American Games with a 7-3 win over Canada on Saturday afternoon.
The victory in Saturday's gold medal match has helped Team USA secure a berth in the 2012 Olympics, to be played in London next summer (July 27-August 12).
Midway through his third season as the UCLA men's water polo head coach, Wright competed for Team USA at the Olympics in 2004 (Athens) and 2008 (Sydney) and helped the United States win the gold medal at the 2007 Pan American Games.
Lapin served as a backup to veteran goalkeeper Merrill Moses at this year's Pan American Games.
The Pan American Games serve as Team USA's third chance to qualify for the 2012 Olympics. Aside from the winner of the Pan American Games, the country that wins the World League Super Final and the top three countries at the FINA World Championships all qualify for the Olympics. The winner of the 2012 Olympic Qualifying Tournament also earns an Olympic berth.
Among the most veteran players on the current USA roster, Wright has played for the United States in virtually every major tournament since 2001. He starred at UCLA from 1997-2000, helping the Bruins capture consecutive NCAA titles in 1999 and 2000. This fall, Wright has guided the UCLA men's water polo team to a 15-3 record.
Lapin was a four-year starter for the Bruins from 2006-09. The native of Long Beach, Calif., established UCLA's all-time saves record during his senior season, finishing with 719 stops. Lapin was a four-time All-MPSF honoree, securing ACWPC All-America accolades all four seasons (twice as an honorable mention selection).